letters for 2.28.07


Workin’ in a coal mine

I have been in the energy industry 26 years and at top levels in a large energy firm. This article is one of the most insightful and accurate I’ve seen by anything approaching mainstream press [“A Coal Conundrum”; Feb. 21, 2007; by Amy Kingsley].

Just to add a few thoughts: My ex-employer built 1,000 MW gas-fired plant for a third of what Duke is proposing per MW. And no one was asking the consumer to agree to pay for the plant and a profit through the regulatory process for 30 years, regardless of whether the plant was need five years down the road.

Gas fired plants emit a very small fraction of the pollutants that even the best coal plants do. The argument for coal is that it is plentiful and cheap. Somebody is not telling you that that was the same argument for natural gas 10 years ago (and even five years ago). And no one is telling you about the railroad monopoly that will raise the price of coal even if the coal companies do not.

Keep up the good work.

Peter Esposito

Crested Butte, Colo.

More support for transgender teen

I have been friends with Devon since we were in 6th grade Sunday school together at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church [“New life as woman brings discrimination for transgender youth”; Jan. 24, 2007; by Jordan Green]. I remember her then as a quiet person, and had always been friends with all the girls. Then when she became open about who she really was inside, people rejected her; I was still her friend until the minor drug abuse started. Sadly we lost all contact when she entered the foster system. Almost a year later one of my other friends ran into her at a doctor’s office. Now I hang out with Devon, and she’s generally the same person as I remember her. But now happier, more outgoing; she has so many friends now. It’s hard to walk in the mall with her because 20 of her friends will flag her down before we can even get inside. Devon is an inspiration to everyone, I don’t care who you are. And slowly, she’s changing the world for everyone.